Quote Originally Posted by jinxmchue View Post
Did you know the role of Charlie Chan in those old films was never played by a Chinese man?
Very true. My husband and I have been watching the series lately, and they're not bad little mysteries. They're also not insulting; Charlie sometimes speaks "pidgin" English a bit, but caucasians always treat him with respect due to his professional standing. Warner Oland (my favorite) was Swedish, and aside from being an actor, was well known as an early translator of Strindberg. He didn't look Swedish any more than he did Chinese!

There were a few Charlie Chan films with vaarious actors during the silent era, but the best known series starred Oland from 1931 until his death in 1938. When Oland died, Sidney Toler took over the role, and he was from a Scottish background. His successor, Roland Winter, was German in heritage. The series devolved into low-budget comedies, and ended for good in 1949.